A dangerous threat to the restoration of Yokohama’s former commericial importance was the impending loss to Kobe of the valuable silk trade. Foreign silk merchants-mostly Swiss, Italian and Continental, with their teams of experts had per-force quickly reestablished themselves in Kobe, and the prized commodity was soon flowing smoothly through the southern port. Silk firms were prominent amongst those reluctant to contemplate rebuilding in Yokohama. But the City Fathers met this situation ingeniously, by offering to reconstruct destroyed premises to any desired specification, rent them to the silk firms at ten per cent of cost, and at the end of ten years turn the premises over free. It was a masterstroke. Up went the premises, back went the silk firms, and the valuable trade became once more a virtual monopoly of the northern port.